Sara Borchers is a Masters student in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, Atmosphere/Energy Program. She received her BS in Biology and BA in Spanish from Wake Forest University. After graduating, she spent some time working in marine biology before pivoting to a career in energy engineering. Her first job in the energy sector was at Altanova, a sustainability engineering and consulting firm in New York City. In this position, she helped corporate clients reduce their carbon emissions through building energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.
In her graduate studies, she is focusing on grid integration and optimization. She enjoys the big-picture thinking, data-driven approaches, and intersectionality that grid transformations demand. She is thrilled to be interning with the Renewable Integration Group at the California ISO (CAISO), where she hopes to apply and grow what she has learned to help move California to an even cleaner, more resilient grid.
Jackie Ennis is a senior studying Symbolic Systems with a concentration in Artificial Intelligence. Next year, she will be pursuing a coterminal M.S. in the Atmosphere / Energy program within the Civil & Environmental Engineering Department to study ways to decarbonize the energy sector. She was a 2019 Schneider Fellow at the Natural Resources Defense Council in Washington, D.C., working on climate change and clean energy advocacy. She has also interned at DE Shaw, Facebook, and ClimateAI in previous summers. She has researched carbon storage in soils and rainforests through projects with Rob Jackson’s Lab and the Natural Capital Project. Most recently, she is working on a design project combating deforestation through sustainable charcoal production in Uganda. As an enthusiastic member of the Stanford Outdoor House and broader outdoor education community, she is passionate about biodiversity conservation and loves hiking, running, surfing, and climbing. She is excited to join the SEICW cohort and work at the Hawai’i Public Utilities Commission this summer!
Alex Evers is a second-year undergraduate student majoring in Earth Systems with a focus in Energy, Science, and Technology. He is incredibly excited to contribute what he has learned to his summer fellowship at the Western Interstate Energy Board. Alex is interested in remote off-grid solar installation and larger-scale energy policy reform. In the future, Alex plans to develop off-grid solar for isolated communities in the Himalayas. Another interest of Alex’s is plant and animal conservation. He was able to participate in the Sophomore College program that went to the Galapagos Islands to research methods on how to better manage isolated social-ecological systems. Beyond conservation, Alex is intrigued by how businesses and renewable energies interact, especially converting existing corporations that are built on fossil fuels to renewable energy sources.
Rachel Hu ’21 is majoring in Atmosphere/Energy and minoring in Computer Science. She wants to leverage data and technical analysis to better inform energy policy decisions. Last summer, she was a Schneider Fellow at the National Audubon Society and contributed to the climate policy sections for Audubon’s National Report: “Survival by Degrees: 389 Bird Species on the Brink.” The summer before, she biked from San Francisco to Washington D.C. and taught climate change and environmental science along the way to rural and inner-city schools. This summer, she is excited to continue her work in climate policy and communication at California ISO (CAISO) on the Regulatory Affairs Team, where she will work on large-scale issues around grid decarbonization. Outside of academics, Rachel is passionate about women’s rights and API community representation, devoting her time to Stanford Women in Politics and alpha Kappa Delta Phi.
Prateek Joshi is a first year Masters student in the Sustainable Design and Construction program, with a focus on energy, within Stanford’s Civil and Environmental Engineering department. His academic interests are focused on increasing the reliability, resiliency, and sustainability of the electrical grid, especially in the midst of climate-change-exacerbated natural disasters. Originally from San Jose, California, Prateek received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Brown University, where he experienced life with snow. During this time, he worked for engineering organizations in the public and private sectors, both globally and domestically. He brought these diverse experiences with him to the projects that he was involved with prior to enrolling at Stanford. Prateek worked on the design of commercial solar projects and zero net energy residences in Rhode Island before returning to California, where he worked on sustainability masterplans and building-integrated renewable energy projects. He is excited to work for the Western Interstate Energy Board this summer in Denver, tackling the difficult issues of wildfire mitigation strategies and public safety power shutoffs. Outside of the classroom, Prateek works at Stanford’s Outdoor Center and enjoys going on backpacking adventures. He also writes satire for The Stanford Daily after several unsuccessful attempts at writing for The Onion.
Mondee Lu is a JD-MS student in the Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources. She discovered her interest in environmental, natural resources, energy, and climate work during the first year of law school and has been spending her graduate studies exploring various facets of these topics. She spent previous summers researching the role of environmental and tech policy in enabling sustainable development and the role of climate rights litigation within the larger climate movement. She's excited to spend this summer learning more about the ins and outs of energy policy and working on microgrid integration and energy resiliency at the California Public Utilities Commission in Commissioner Shiroma's office.
Sindhu Nathan is a third-year PhD candidate in Chemical Engineering. Prior to her time at Stanford, she researched strategies to improve the capacity, safety, and stability of lithium batteries at UT Austin. Her current research focuses on designing and characterizing materials that convert carbon dioxide to fuels and chemicals, an important part of the carbon capture and utilization cycle. She aims to apply her technical research background in energy materials towards developing policy solutions at the intersection of energy and the environment. Outside of research, Sindhu is involved with the Stanford community through the Chemical Engineering Graduate Student Action Committee and the Stanford Energy Club. In her free time, she loves to bake, read, or work on one of her many half-finished art projects. Sindhu will be working at the California Energy Commission this summer, in the office of Commissioner Patty Monahan. She is excited to gain experience working in the public sector, and to learn how energy decarbonization is accomplished at the state level.
Julia Osterman is an MBA-MS in Environment and Resources candidate at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business (GSB). Julia is passionate about financing and operationalizing innovative solutions to climate change. Prior to Stanford, she worked with senior leadership at The Nature Conservancy to drive the organization's global priority and goal setting process. While at Stanford, she co-founded the GSB's Climate, Business and Innovation Conference. She worked with the InterAmerican Development Bank and the Natural Capital Project to drive increased public-private investment in natural climate solutions and with the innovative forest restoration finance organization Blue Forest Conservation to develop their next Forest Resilience Bond project in California. Julia holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies with a focus on biodiversity and conservation from Yale University. She can't wait to work with and learn from the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research this summer on driving sustainable land use policy and climate action in California.
Erin Pang is a coterm student pursuing an M.S. in Earth Systems. Her experience has been in renewable energy advocacy and California water policy. She's interested in environmental justice, collaborative policymaking, and working towards a just transition to a clean energy society. As an intern in President Batjer's office at the California Public Utilities Commission this summer, Erin is excited to learn more about the complex energy landscape in the West and to work on wildfire prevention projects in relation to the new Wildfire Safety Advisory Board.
Nathaniel Ramos is a junior majoring in Environmental Systems Engineering, with a focus on water and energy, and minoring in Comparative Studies in Race And Ethnicity. He’s from Watsonville, CA, and currently serves as a Resident Assistant. He is passionate about environmental justice in his home area and more broadly, having worked on safe drinking water issues in Monterey County last fall. He is excited to go from the local level to the state level, and he hopes to serve agricultural communities like his throughout his career. This summer, he will be interning at the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) in Sacramento, working on modelling projects to best determine how the State Water Project (how California moves its water around) can implement solar PV and battery storage in the pursuit of reducing its carbon emissions, as per California’s ambitious climate goals.
On campus, he is on leadership for Students for a Sustainable Stanford, the Central American Students Association, and is a part of a student coalition supporting the protection of ecological sites that are of great spiritual importance to the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band, upon whose ancestral land his hometown is built on. In his extracurriculars and academics, he aims to develop a clear understanding of social inequities and justice frameworks so he can pursue sustainable, equitable solutions to environmental issues. He is excited to develop skills in his internship at the DWR so he can work towards environmental justice for all.
Mo Sodwatana is a first year master’s student in the Energy Resources Engineering department. She is currently involved in the Stanford led ERFC group, which focuses on understanding physics in tight porous media. Specifically, she is conducting research on the impact that micro fracture topology has on reactive transport. Mo is very enthusiastic about her summer internship with the City of Palo Alto Utilities - The Karl Knapp Energy Fellow in City Government, where she will be working on assessing the electric vehicle charging infrastructure needs and locations within the community. She hopes to better understand the current approaches and issues to decarbonization and learn more about energy policy implementation in California. Prior to joining Stanford, Mo completed her Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Sindhu Sreedhara is a first year PhD student in Energy Resources Engineering. Her current research focusses on improving grid flexibility in India. During her master’s degree, also at Stanford, she worked on comparing and quantifying the detection capabilities of various methane detection technologies. Sindhu has an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from IIT Madras and hopes to combine this quantitative background with economics to make energy decisions for a cleaner future. This summer, she will be at the California Air Resources Board (CARB) working on electricity pricing for zero emission vehicles. She is excited to learn how state agencies operate and to interact with the stakeholders involved in making policy decisions.
Jayne Stevenson is a junior at Stanford studying Earth Systems with a concentration in Human Environmental Systems. She is particularly interested in climate change issues and how climate policy can move the world toward net-zero greenhouse gas emissions. Jayne interned last summer at the Environmental Defense Fund and is excited to explore the state-agency side of climate and energy work this summer at the California Energy Commission in the Office of Chair David Hochschild. She hopes to learn more about the California energy system and how the CEC's work is advancing the state's climate and energy goals.
Liqian Zhang is a first-year M.S. student in the Environmental Engineering program in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford, and will intern with the City of Palo Alto Utilities. She has a B.S. degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Xi'an Jiaotong University in China. While her background is mostly technical, she is interested in the intersection of energy technology, policy, and the environment. She is looking forward to applying her analytical skills and learning more about the possible decarbonization reached by the existing energy policies.
Allan Zhao is a third-year undergraduate student majoring in political science. A California Bay Area native, Allan was raised surrounded by pioneers in sustainable technology but also became increasingly frustrated at the inaccessibility of these same technologies to many communities. His previous work in local government and Congressional offices expands upon his policy-oriented background, working to bridge the gap in access to clean technology.
Allan envisions a future of clean transportation that is a synthesis of public transit and clean personal transit options that builds a network to connects urban and rural America. As a Summer 2020 Intern for the California Air Resources Board (CARB), he hopes to expand his understanding of environmental policy encouraging the adoption of electric vehicles in pursuit of this vision.
Wenxi Zhao is a first-year master student in Environmental Engineering. One year ago, she was an undergrad at the University of Waterloo, working on her thesis project about the attenuation of artificial sweeteners in a local reservoir. The research experience inspired her about how remote sensing systems and data analysis could impact hydrology studies, therefore she started to take courses that related to sensing, data, and AI in her master's study. Right now, she is working on two projects, one is developing an apparatus that can turn bio-waste into biochar for water filtration or soil amendment, the other is related to benchmarking the energy storage market. Wenxi is excited about the summer internship in the California Department of Water Resources (DWR), and she hopes to understand the interplay of the renewable energy implementation and the traditional energy portfolio by deeply engaging in the whole-spectrum assessment of integrating solar energy into the State Water Project. Learning from the state-of-art practice of rejuvenating the traditional municipal utilities with renewable energy resources encourages her to think about decarbonization from a much broader horizon.